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RPG: Take 3 (Discussion Thread)

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:56 am
by Oldrac the Chitinous
All right, boys and girls, there is a new sheriff in town. A new, Chitinous sheriff.

I've got it into my head that I'm going to start up a new forum RPG. This is going to be the real thing, not the crazy mutinous anarchy experiment that I tried in TwoBuy's game. It's going to be good.

So. The new RPG is set in 1932. Probably in the US, 'cause I don't really know much about what other parts of the world (except Germany, but I'd just as soon not go there) were doing at that time. We'll say Topeka, Kansas, but that's subject to change. This is going to be a substantially more sweet 1932 US than the original, full of wizards and robots and minotaurs and other good things that we missed out on the first time around, in addition to all the talkies and bootleggers that we've grown to love. I am seeing this being a reasonably actiony, but not exclusively combatty, kind of game. So keep that in mind when you make your characters.

On that note, you can make new characters, or you can transport your characters from the other games, with a few modifications. The game will start on Friday, April 24th. That will give me time to stare at Wikipedia until I am knowledgeable about the 30's, and it will let us figure out what Ruo's planning with his game. If you're interested, go ahead and say so in this thread. I'll post some character-creation information and other assorted details tomorrow evening sometime. The system I'm using is one I've had good results in a regular sit-down type of game, but I think it'll be even better over a forum, where simplicity is essential.


Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:57 am
by Edminster
Bam! Interested!

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:02 am
by mountainmage
A fantasy set in the 1930's? Madness, I say!

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:04 am
by Edminster
Fantasy? It has Robots, so it is clearly science fiction!

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:09 am
by mountainmage
Regardless, this idea of fantasy taking place during actual history both confuses and infuriates me!

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:25 am
by Lethal Interjection
I'm interested.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:36 am
by LordRetard
I haven't played a game since August, so I'll indicate my interest here.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:41 am
by smiley_cow
I'm interested, though my experience with these sorts of RPGs is limited to a couple of single sessions of D&D so I may sit this one out to observe and join in on the next one. I like the idea of Wizards and robots and stuff right in the middle of the Great Depression though, it should be interesting.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:14 am
by Lethal Interjection
smiley_cow wrote:I'm interested, though my experience with these sorts of RPGs is limited to a couple of single sessions of D&D so I may sit this one out to observe and join in on the next one. I like the idea of Wizards and robots and stuff right in the middle of the Great Depression though, it should be interesting.
My experience of this type of RPG was the last one that lasted about 2 turns. So don't let inexperience hamper you.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:00 am
by astasia
I'm much less nerdy than all of you, having never done any of these role playing shenanigans, and I still find myself skeptical of this one. I believe I specifically told you, Chitinous, to avoid things like minotaurs. But, goddamn, I promised I would give it a try.

I am gonna need guidelines on all of this stuff, and I am going to hate all the goddamn robots, but here I am.

Also, I'm guessing I can't be a historical character - like Dorothea Lange?

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:59 pm
by Edminster
Oooh! If we're allowed to be Historical Characters, I wanna be Neil McElroy! Except you know, more focussed on Prosthetics and Waldo technology than Advertisements.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:07 pm
by CheshireCat151
I'll deffinately give it a go once you Oldrac the Chitinous gets the info on making a character up.

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:15 pm
by LordRetard
I want to be Harry Bennett!

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:52 am
by Oldrac the Chitinous
Hm. I guess you can be a historical character if you really want to, but I strongly discourage it. You can't really own the character if it's not someone of your own making. Of course, plenty of the NPCs will be historical personages, so check with me beforehand to make sure you're not going to be somebody I've got other plans for. The ones you've listed so far should be okay, though.

Here are the mechanics, in a nutshell. It's basically a skeletonized version of the d20 system:
You have a Special Attribute, a Profession, and a bunch of skills.
Whenever you're trying to do something where success isn't assured, you will generate a random number between 1 and 20. If what you're doing is related to one of your skills, you'll add a bonus to whatever you roll. +5 if the skill is related to your profession, +3 otherwise. You'll be trying to roll above some target number that I give you, based on the difficulty of what you're trying to do.

In action-type scenes when it matters who's going first, everybody rolls a d20 for initiative. Ordinarily, there aren't any special modifiers to this roll. People get to take actions starting from the highest roll and working down.
Everybody has two hit points. Most attacks (and other hazards) do one damage each, but some - like getting hit by a car or a manticore or a land mine - do two. When you lose both, you're incapacitated. You might be unconscious, or paralyzed, or stuck under some debris, depending on the situation. If you're in combat, and somebody make a successful attack on you when you're incapacitated, they'll kill you - but other hazards, like fires or artillery shells in your general vicinity, won't hurt you. If you're not in combat, though, those other hazards are still hazardous.

Some specifics, as far as making characters:

Re: RPG: Take 3

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:02 am
by Oldrac the Chitinous
Everybody gets one Class, one Special Feature, and four Skills.

The Class dictates what kinds of skills and features are available to you. It can be just about any kind of occupation: Mobster, Private Eye, Demon Lord, etc.
The Special Feature is some ability, item, or advantage that distinguishes you from everybody else on the planet. It could be lightning-fast reflexes, or indomitable willpower, or a caustic acid spray that shoots from your eyes. If it's something like the last one, that wouldn't be around in the real 1932, it'll need to be something that you can explain based on your class (Like Tesla or Rasputin, below). Otherwise, it can be just about anything. If you've got a desired effect for the feature, go ahead and describe it, but be advised that I may change it to fit the system a little better.
Skills give you bonuses when you roll. You get two professional skills, one non-profession skill, and one free spot. Professional skills are any skills related to your class. They give you the best bonus. In the examples, they're marked with a plus sign. Non-profession skills are everything else, but they're restricted to things that you wouldn't need to dedicate a whole lot of study to know about. So, a pilot could reasonably take French as a non-profession skill, under the assumption that he was raised bilingual, but he couldn't take Linguistics.
The free skill can be either professional or non-professional, but you don't have to decide right now what it's going to be. You have the option of deciding in-game. So if you're trapped out in the woods, somebody can say, "Gee, it sure is handy that I know all about orienteering, huh, guys?", fill up their free slot, and get everyone to safety.

Once you've got those, throw in a physical description of your character and as much of their backstory as you want to make publicly known. Try not to make them too long.

Here are a few examples:

Nikola MechaTesla
Special Feature: Robotic Exoskeleton (You are protected by a mighty electric battle harness, which can absorb up to two 1-HP attacks before you start taking damage. Other attacks affect you normally. You can also lift heavy things, but you move pretty slow and weigh like 600 pounds.)
Class: Inventor
Skills: +Electrical Engineering
Death Ray (Rifle)

A lean, white-haired old man wearing a suit of metal armor far too large and far too heavy for him to lift under his own power. The suit hums with mighty alternating current, wirelessly powered by some distant station. When he moves, powerful electric motors begin to turn, driving the enormous metal shell in a noisy, lumbering gait.
Nikola Tesla finally perfected his design for wireless power transmission, but the years spent bathed in low-frequency radiation had taken their toll on his nervous system, leaving the inventor almost totally paralyzed. With what mobility he had left, he constructed a powered exoskeleton and sealed himself inside, fully anticipating that he would never leave it.

Bonnie Parker, The Yellow Rose of Pandemonium
Special Feature: Narrow Escapes (At any time when you're not being physically restrained, you can instantly get yourself out of any fight, trap, or building. If you are about to be incapacitated, you can decide to escape first; you'll still be incapacitated, but you'll be away from whatever danger you were originally in.)
Class: Bank Robber
Skills: +Driving

A short young woman in a yellow dress and a bob haircut drives across a bridge at breakneck speed in a blue Model A. A stream of banknotes flutters behind her from one of several sacks in the backseat. She laughs cheerfully to herself as the bridge collapses in a great fireball behind her, stranding the pursuing lawmen on the other side.
When her accomplice Clyde Barrows was killed in a shootout in an Oklahoma bank robbery, Bonnie Parker gave up her life of crime for several months, living off of odd jobs and bread lines while she tried to stay ahead of the police. Eventually, feeling her talents were being wasted and hungry for adrenaline, she returned to her old line of work. Although she never did learn to use guns, her notoriety and her skill with cars and explosives helped her establish herself as an effective criminal.

Grigori Rasputin, Politburo Lich
Special Feature: Undead (You have brought yourself back from the dead by the use of dreadful magic. If you are killed but your body is not destroyed, you will rise again at sunset the following day. You also don't need to worry about poison and starvation and the like.)
Class: Necromancer
Skills: +Death Magic

A man stands here, with a long, unkempt beard, a deeply scarred face and skin the color of chalk. He is wearing a Red Army uniform, but his torso is wrapped in white linen bandages. Four bullet wounds endlessly ooze blood, turning these white wrappings a deep crimson.
When Bolshevik revolutionaries seized the Tsar's Village south of Petrograd in 1917, they exhumed the graves there. One of these belonged to Grigori Rasputin, favorite companion to the late Tsarina Alexandra. On opening the mystic's tomb, the mob was slaughtered by a furious Rasputin, brought back to life by some terrible unknown power. With his previous benefactor now dead and the Communists in power, Rasputin sought out the new rulers of Russia. Although Lenin would not tolerate the Tsarina's kept man in his new Government, Stalin had no such compunctions, and appointed him to the Politburo shortly after Lenin's death.